Sunday, January 23, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes.....

I have had the priviledge of spending several weeks helping Rebecca with her boys (Christian and Logan), while she has prepared for their move to Italy. When you spend quality time with your grandchildren you often have the opportunity to hear the most wonderful "words". Following are four such occasions that I don't want to forget.

1.One morning I took Christian, who is 3 and Logan, who is 1 1/2, to an indoor play area. Christian wanted to ride on a particular toy which was being occupied by a little girl. I explained he would have to wait his turn so he quietly sat on a chair then looked up at me with a serious expression and said: "This is patience, Nani." (Wow-if only more adults would learn that concept!)

2. On another morning's outing I took the boys to a mall that featured a play area with climbing toys. It was already populated by a large group of pre-school children. Christian wanted to play with the kids so started following a little girl around. She quickly turned around and quite abruply yelled "NO" in his face. He quietly walked over to me, with his big blue-green eyes filling with tears, and said: "I am going to look for someone nice to play with because I am a nice boy!" (Of course, I agreed!)

3. Almost every night I lay in bed for a few minutes with Christian and tell him Bible stories and we sing songs together. One night I was singing the song, "Jesus Loves the Little Children". The second verse says that Jesus died for all the children. While I was singing it Christian interrupted me to state that "Jesus died on the cross". The third verse says that Jesus lives for all the children. He interrupted me again to state that "Jesus went to heaven and when I die I'm going to go to heaven to be with him". Then he asked, "Right? Nani" (Seminary theology from a three year old!)

4. The last day in Columbus Rebecca, Steve, the boys and myself were staying at a hotel in order to clean the house and because all of their belongings had been packed, shipped, and on their way to Italy. I was babysitting the boys for a time so Rebecca and Steve could complete the house details. The boys and I had just run the halls, rode on luggage carts, climbed stairs, and jumped on beds for an hour. I said it was time for a snack break. We sat on the floor with paper towels as plates and three baby carrots each to eat. As I began munching on my first carrot, Logan looked up at me, put his two little hands together and said (at 18 months old) "Amen" (A lesson well taught-thank God for everything at all times-even three little baby carrots!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stuck in an elevator

Know what it is like to be stuck in an elevator with a 1 1/2 year old, a 3 year old and 13 pre-schoolers, along with about half a dozen nervous adults? CRAZY! Thankfully it was a mere 15 minutes, which seemed like a couple of hours. Rebecca and I were spending the morning and lunch time at the Columbus Children's Museum. As the crowds amassed around noon we were done and ready to leave so we stepped into the glass elevator to descend to the main floor when the elevator suddenly stopped between floors. Claustraphobia doesn't set in as quickly when you can see "through the walls and the floor". Mothers outside the elevator were pulling out their cameras and taking quick shots as we all waved and contacted the front desk via the intercom emergency button. A pre-school teacher pulled out her iphone to entertain a few wiggling bodies with games. Rebecca followed suit with her new ipodtouch so Christian was immediately mesmerized. Logan, always the little blonde Dennis the Menace, refused to leave the "button" area, trying to help the situation?? Well, we all cheered quite loudly as the technicians got us moving again and Rebecca and I exited the museum thinking we were extremely fortunate our "stay" in the elevator was short!

Hope your own "inconveniences" this week are brief!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Super Christmas Gift!

I love to read! Among the list of fiction genres I favor are thrillers, action/adventure, historical, fantasy and once in a while a good romance. Generally I gravitate to those with Christian themes, especially stories with spiritual nuggets imbedded in the narrative that cause me to search my soul and connect with God. It's fun "escaping" to another world where I can walk through a day with a pioneer wife, or breathlessly follow a thief into a deserted building, or watch an Episcopal priest minister to his flock. Evenings often find me tucked in my king-sized bed turning the pages of my current story while Hunter plays computer games and searches the net. On nights when I can't immediately fall asleep I grab a book for a while until the words blur. Thankfully, my dear husband for years has been willing to contend with the overhead lights still blazing while he easily falls asleep. Even in the middle of the night, when I awake, I often grab the book and use a night light to continue the saga until I'm weary and can sleep once again. The problem has always been finding the perfect night light. I've tried ones attached to the binding, slipped between the pages, even ones attached to my head, like a minor's spot light. Nothing seemed to be adequate until I received my NOOK! Now I can read in the middle of the night with the ease of pushing a button and scroll from page to page. Since the Nook is backlit no night light is required! I can also download a world of novels, as well as colorful audio children's books that can entertain my grandchildren. In addition, I can read various newspapers or other magazines and even search the net, if I have internet access. I'm discovering that my new colorNook is an exciting adventure in reading. It even has other "perks" I have yet to explore. Hunter chose the perfect gift for me this year. Thanks dear!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Family photos

Let the following "quote" challenge you to live a positive life in 2011:

"Don't worry about getting it done. Just get it done.

Don't complain about what has gone wrong. Just do whatever 
is necessary to make it right.

Your time and energy are too precious and too powerful to 
waste on things that will just bring you down. Instead of 
bringing yourself down, lift the whole world up.

Decide to live life on your own terms and make those terms 
exceedingly positive. Choose to spend each priceless moment 
in the service of your highest values. (For me it is in the service
of the Lord!)

Whatever the situation, you get to decide how you will be. 
So always direct your energy to where it will bring new 
richness to your world.

Take everything in stride, and respond with your own unique, 
positive perspective. Live on the highest level you can 
envision, and cheerfully encourage everyone else to come 

Ralph Marston

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of December 2010

-spending 10 days, from Dec. 9-19, with my mom and two sisters in Minneapolis laughing, shopping, going to a play, & making Christmas candy
-receiving wonderful Christmas cards from dear friends
-buying presents for family
-visiting with Tommy, Hunter's brother, in Florida
-traveling to St. Augustine, Florida and sharing a house on the beach with our three grown children, their spouses, and three active grandsons from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day. We walked the beach gathering seashells, made sand castles, built & eventually destroyed a gingerbread house, played cards and a trivia game, ate, spent an afternoon competing for the Stall trophy in a miniature golf game, ate some more, solved a murder mystery in costume, visited a playground with an antique carousel that the grandsons loved, and ate yet more! (family photo coming)

-experienced the Minneapolis 16 inch snow storm and below zero wind chills!
-colder than normal temps in Florida requiring winter wear while walking the beach the first three days of our visit

-two days in the hospital, Dec. 23rd and 24th, with a bowel obstruction which was cleared BUT medication triggered 30 hours of violent nausea and vomiting & a 10 pound weight loss

Now I'm looking forward to God's blessings in 2011: anticipating new MMAP projects in January and February, a scuba trip to Bonaire the end of February, touring Florida with our German friends in March, two more MMAP projects in April and May, welcoming a granddaughter into the world in May, spending the summer in the Quad Cities and the fall in Italy and wrapping up the year somewhere on the east coast.

Praying your new year is filled with meaningful activities keeping you busy and friends & family keeping you happy!